EY leverages Microsoft Azure to assess trustworthiness of AI systems

The firm claims this is a first of its kind solution for the industry and is expected to be made available later in 2019

Professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY) has leveraged the Microsoft Azure platform in the development of a solution designed to help enterprises quantify the impact and trustworthiness of artificial intelligence (AI) systems.

The EY Trusted AI platform was developed on the EY Client Technology Platform with the help of Microsoft Azure, and designed to offer its users an integrated approach to evaluate, monitor and quantify the impact and trustworthiness of AI.

The firm claims this is a first of its kind solution for the industry and is expected to be made available later in 2019.

“Currently, a lack of trust is the leading barrier to the adoption of AI,” said Cathy Cobey, global trusted artificial intelligence advisory leader at EY. “If AI is to reach its full potential, we need a more granular view – the ability to predict conditions that amplify risks and then target mitigation strategies for risks that may undermine trust, while still considering traditional system risks such as reliability, performance and security.”

“Sponsors and users alike want to develop AI in a transparent, accountable and therefore trusted manner,” added Cobey. “This innovative EY capability is a significant step toward reaching that goal.”

The platform leverages advanced analytical models to evaluate the technical design of an AI system, measuring risk drivers that include its objective, underlying technologies, technical operating environment and level of autonomy compared with human oversight, and then produces a technical score.

“Helping customers focus on the ethical use of AI as they build new solutions or infuse their existing solutions with AI is one of the core principles of Microsoft’s approach,” said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of AI business at Microsoft.

“A key component of our Microsoft Azure cloud platform is enabling the creation of applications and services using artificial intelligence by any developer or data scientists across a wide range of scenarios,” added Guggenheimer.

The new platform can be used as a standalone or managed service and is based on open-source architecture to facilitate rapid deployment.

Future development of the platform is expected with new AI risk metrics, measurement techniques and continuous monitoring tools on the roadmap.

In 2018, EY unveiled plans to invest a billion dollars in new technology solutions, client services and innovation, as part of a two-year strategy, spanning global and local practices.

The intent of the investment is to deepen “innovative offerings” to customers through emerging and disruptive technologies, across areas such as financial services, cyber, risk management, managed services, software services as well as digital tax and audit services.